Battle of the Bonds: PIERCE BROSNAN

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To a generation, Pierce Brosnan is as much Bond as Sean Connery or Roger Moore were. Regardless of how revolutionary Timothy Dalton’s era was, many credit Brosnan for getting the franchise out of a slump it was experiencing since the last third of Moore’s reign.

Brosnan famously was due to take over as Bond from Moore in the early Eighties. He was in fact between projects – his show Remington Steele had just been cancelled. There are two stories around this particular moment. One has it that Brosnan screen-tested along with Sam Neill for the job. Another holds that producer Albert Broccoli met Brosnan on the set of For Your Eyes Only, where his wife was playing a role. Broccoli loved Brosnan and wanted him to be Bond. But both tales end with the revival of Remington Steele, so the actor had to decline.

Fast forward to 1995, six years after the last Dalton 007 film. Brosnan was finally in the lead and made his explosive debut with Goldeneye – one of the best films in the franchise, not to mention one of its biggest earners. His era as Bond would become controversial, but mainly for the films.

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Brosnan’s Bond was a solid combination of the classic era characters. He was equal parts charming, dangerous, slick and soft. Brosnan’s reign also reinforced in the strong women characters Dalton wanted: to this day Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies stands as Bond’s equal.

He wanted to equal Moore’s record of six movies, but after four Brosnan retired his license to kill. Another version has it that he was pushed out in favour of a younger actor. Maybe he just wanted too much for the role. Brosnan has spoken out a bit in recent years about the experience, alluding to the producers being overly controlling. But as far as the fans are concerned, he’s right up there with the greats.

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Brosnan was the perfect combination of Roger Moore’s smooth operator and Sean Connery’s physical fixer, but in the grittier Bond world Timothy Dalton established. [/column] [column size=one_half position=last ]
Outside of Goldeneye it was clear the writers were struggling for new ideas and, frankly, Brosnan’s close approximation of the classic Bond archetype did not help stir their creativity.

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  Goldeneye. Does this even need explanation? It was all Bond should be and yet so new as well. The idea of a rogue 00 agent as the villain was an inspired one. And it introduced director Martin Campbell to the series, who would also direct Casino Royale. [/column] [column size=one_half position=last ]
The World Is Not Enough. Yes, may think this should be Die Another Day, but that was a fun throwback to the classic Bond films – down to the crazy, world-dominating villains. The World Is Not Enough was just dull, despite having Robert Carlyle as a villain and it-girl Denise Richards as Bond’s fling.[/column]
Read  Danny Boyle drops out as director of Bond 25; Christopher McQuarrie seen as the top choice to replace him

 

Last Updated: November 26, 2015

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it's something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway - even video nasties need love...

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